Soprano Blog

Archive for November, 2019

Soprano Release Preview 19th November 2019

We’re pleased to announce that the next release of Soprano is available for preview.

This release includes:

  • Circulation
    • Suppressing the previously borrowed message at issue
    • Circulation fix
  • Inter-Library Loans
    • Renewing ILL requests for non-British Library suppliers
    • ILL fixes
  • Other areas where fixes have been made
    • Cataloguing
    • Purchasing
    • Serials
    • Stock management


Suppressing the previously borrowed message at issue

There are some circumstances where staff don’t need to know that a person has previously borrowed an item. Setting the TAL_HOUSEBOUND environment variable to NO will suppress the previously borrowed message when issuing a book and allow the issue to go through without having to confirm it. If TAL_HOUSEBOUND is not set, or it is set to YES then the messages will continue to display. This requires LDS 2.9.3.

Circulation fix

Borrower’s loan history now ordered by return date. A borrower’s Loan History tab is now ordered by the returned date rather than the due date. This requires LDS version 2.9.3.

Inter-Library Loans

Renewing ILL requests for non-British Library suppliers

Soprano now allows you to request a renew for an ILL request, where the supplier is not the British Library, and then record the new supplier due date. This requires LDS version 2.9.4.

The process of renewing a request from non-British Library suppliers involves two main steps:

Step 1: Requesting the renew by updating the request to Renew pend status. This triggers the generation of an email to the supplier requesting the renew.

Step 2: If the supplier confirms the renewal then the new supplier due date needs to be recorded in the system and the loan to the borrower is renewed to 7 days prior to this date.

Step 1 – Requesting the renew

In order to request the renewal the supplier linked to the ILL request must use request method Print or Do not send and the ILL request must be at On Loan status. When viewing an ILL request, if it is at On Loan status, you can use the Request renew button to update the status of the request to Renew pend.

The system confirms the renewal request and switches to the Fulfilment tab, if a different tab was open. The ILL request can then picked up by the background process that sends emails to the supplier.

Step 2 – updating the request with the new supplier due date

To record the new supplier due date and renew the loan, the ILL request must be at Renew pend, On loan or Discharged status. ILL requests supplied by the British Library (Request method BLDSS Web) can also have new supplier due dates recorded.

Display the ILL request and select the Fulfilment tab. Scroll down the form if needed. Beside the Supplier due date a new button, Enter new due date, is displayed along with a toggle switch.

Toggle the switch to on and then select the Enter new due date button. The system shows the current Supplier due date which you need to change to the new supplier due date.

Selecting Renew, updates the ILL request with the new supplier due date, it sets the due date for the loan  to 7 days before this date, and if the ILL request is at Renew pend status, it sets it to On loan. If the item is on loan, the system will automatically renew the item to the due date 7 days before the supplier due date. Currently it does not take into account Dead days and closed days when the renew is carried out here.

ILL fixes

Seeing Cancelled requests under the Borrower ILL tab. When the Borrower’s ILL tab is accessed and the ALL toggle is selected, all ILL requests including Cancelled and Deleted requests will now display here. This requires LDS 2.9.3.

Viewing Cancelled ILL requests in Manage ILL. Now, when you choose the Cancelled status from Tasks> Manage ILL requests> Filter by status these will display. This requires LDS version 2.9.3.

Other areas where fixes have been made

These changes all require the Soprano release except where the LDS is mentioned.


Adding a 100, a 254 or a 306 tag to a bib record. The system now saves these tags when they are added to a record. If no text is entered into the fields then they are not saved.

Importing records from Base. Previously when records were imported from Base, diacritics in the record could result in corruption. This occurred where the Character coding scheme in the Leader, was not set to UCS/Unicode. Now when records are imported in Create Work or Create Order, the Character coding scheme will be set to UCS/Unicode.


Cursor focus when receipting items. When you are in Tasks > Receipt item the cursor is now focused in the field to scan barcodes. As barcodes are scanned the cursor is returned to the Receipt items field, including when there are actions that need to be carried out.


We’ve started some work around when patterns can be attached to serial records.

Only one pattern can be attached to a bib record for each login location. The system now only allows one Pattern to be attached to a serial bib record for each login location. To attach a pattern, there has to be a subscription for the bib record, and the user has to be logged in at one of the delivery sites.

A bib record needs a subscription associated with it in order to attach a pattern.  If there isn’t a subscription the system says: Failed: could not set prediction pattern to ‘pattern_name’. Check the Open orders tab to see if there is a subscription. This requires LDS 2.9.3.

In order to attach a pattern you need to be logged in at a subscription delivery site. The system will say: Failed: could not set prediction pattern to ‘pattern_name’ if you are not logged in at the subscription delivery site. Check the open orders tab to see what the delivery sites are for the open orders. This requires LDS 2.9.3.

Stock management

Message when an item barcode does not exist. If a barcode is scanned in Tasks> Stock Management> Mark items as seen, that does not exist in the database the system will now display a message. Previously no message was reported.

Release Procedure

To preview this release

You can preview this release by inserting ‘-demo’ into your tenancy URL after the word ‘soprano’:{your tenancy name}. Please remember that it accesses your live data.

Release to the live service

This version of Soprano will be released to the live service on Tuesday 3rd December 2019.

If you need an LDS upgrade

Your current LDS version number is displayed in the footer of Soprano pages. If you require an upgrade to LDS 2.9.3 mentioned for the above features, please raise a support case through the customer support portal.

Comments and contact

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions please get in touch. You can comment here on the Soprano blog or contact our support team directly.  To suggest and discuss additional features please visit the Soprano Ideas Forum.